Long Beach Half-Marathon - Race Recap

If you follow me on twitter or facebook you know that I finished my first half-marathon in Long Beach Sunday morning. Wooo Hooo!!

My Official Time: 2:06:28

My original goal nine weeks ago was 2:15. Then four weeks ago I started dreaming of a 2:10 or better finish.

On Saturday we packed up and headed out to Long Beach. We are only thirty minutes away from Long Beach but I had heard that traffic is awful the morning of the race and that you could get stuck on the freeway for over an hour waiting to get off the exit. I'm glad we spent the night it gave me time to relax and do absolutely nothing the night before the race.

Here's what I packed for the race:
Starting at the top left of the picture:
  • Toilet Paper - friends told me to bring some toilet paper because the port-o-potties usually run out fast. (I heard they ran out at 7am!!)
  • Anti-bacterial spray- because there are no sinks in the yucky port-o-potties.
  • Running shoes
  • Two outfits- I couldn't decide if I was going to wear the new Lululemon outfit my husband bought me or my regular running clothes.
  • Socks- not tech sock just plain old cotton because for some reason the tech socks make my feet super hot.
  • Garmin
  • Ear buds
  • iphone - Pandora for the race
  • Race nutrition- Cliff Shot bloks, couldn't decide which flavor, I only used part of one.
  • Hydration belt- I use a Nathan belt
That's all that I needed. I was really worried that I would forget something important, you know like running shoes.

The only thing we did on Saturday was pick up my race packet at the health and fitness expo. My husband picked up dinner and brought it back to the room. I ate grilled salmon, rice and a salad for dinner.

I woke up at 5 a.m. tip-toed into the bathroom of the hotel where I had placed the coffee maker the night before and brewed a cup of coffee. I tried to be super quite as I didn't want to wake my family especially the kiddos. My stomach was a little upset because I was nervous so all I was able to get down was a toasted nuts 'n' cranberry bar from Luna and half of my coffee. 

When I started to get dressed it was obvious which outfit I needed to wear and I was happy for the moment of clarity. The indecisiveness came from wanting to wear the cute new and really nice running clothes as opposed to my older and more beat up clothes. But the old and beat up clothes have been good to me and I know how I feel in them and most importantly I have never had any chaffing issues with them. I will wear the cute Lululemon outfit on plenty of runs in the future I am sure. 

After I got dressed I heard my daughter calling out my name followed by my son. They were excited to see me off before the big race! 
I walked at a quick pace down to the start line about 30 minutes before the first wave started. I had planned on making a pit stop at the port-o-potty and then check a bag with my sweater in it. I did not get to do either. I arrived at the start line area and it was packed and a little chaotic!! I had no clue how I was going to make it to wave two the only wave that was easy to get in was wave 5. I ditched my bag behind a bench and decided that if it wasn't there when I got back I wouldn't be devastated. I ditched the idea of going to the port-o-potty because the lines were just too long and I didn't think I would make it back for the start of the race.

I jumped into the fourth wave fairly painlessly but it was not where I wanted to be. Then a group of runners started making a path through the crowd. I asked them what wave they were trying to get to and they said two so I grabbed hold of them tightly. We made it to the front of the third wave then after the first wave everyone pushed to move forward. I managed to make it to the back of wave two. It was a very narrow start for such a large crowd we were packed in like sardines! Next time I will make it to the start line at least an hour early.

When it was time to run all I could think about was needing to use the port-o-potty which was a distraction (I can't really say it was good distraction) since usually I get pretty nervous/anxious at the start.
The first four miles went by pretty quick I was able to see my family three times during those four miles which was great! I thanked Weston and Natalie for cheering me on at the end of the race. Weston told me that I did a good job but he said that I should have passed everyone in front of me. :) 

Mile 1- 9:22
Mile 2- 9:31
Mile 3- 9:43 
Mile 4- 9:54-dodging around people 

It was really tiring to dodge around people that were not going the pace of the wave. I ended up running a little bit longer race because of it.
I really needed to go potty. Men were just taking quick potty breaks in the bushes and I was jealous. There were plenty of water stations and port-o-potties but the lines were very long and every time I came across one I would think about it but just couldn't bring myself to stop.

Mile 5- 9:33
Mile 6- 9:37
Mile 7- 9:41
Mile 8- 9:40

At mile six my "bronchitis" started bothering me and I coughed soo much I think I strained an ab muscle.  Around mile seven the course was along the beach and the water was beautiful to look at. Halfway through mile seven it started to sprinkle a little. It was cool and refreshing. It stopped by the time we reached mile nine.

Mile 9- 9:41
Mile 10- 9:33
Mile 11- 9:44--hit "the wall"
Mile 12- 9:34
Mile 13- 8:51--sprint as fast as I could
Mile .26 - 8:02

Mile ten was were the full marathon runner's split off. At mile nine I was worried it wouldn't be clearly marked and I would end up running the full marathon. I wonder if that has ever happened, I'm sure it has. Luckily for me the split was clearly marked and they had a guy and a megaphone shouting which direction to go. 

Mile ten my coughing had subsided.

Mile eleven I hit "the wall" my body felt like lead. I felt like I couldn't move one more step. At this point my mind took over and I gave myself a little pep talk. I realized that I only had a 5k left no big deal just get it done and then I could take a nice port-o-potty break. :)

I pushed through and at mile twelve I picked up my pace a bit and started preparing myself to sprint the last mile. As I picked up the pace to start sprinting I realized quickly that I should have taken the time to use a port-o-potty. It was a very uncomfortable sprint. 

I crossed the finish line and was happy to see my Garmin read 2:06 for my time!

I learned a lot from my first half-marathon. I think that my finish time was respectable for my first half-marathon and I am super proud of myself. Yeah Me!! I spent a lot of time training and I believe it really paid off. I'm ready to hit the pavement and start training for my next race, as soon as I get better of course. 


Vitamama said...

You did a great job, girl! You look cute, even in your old "beat up" running clothes. Cute visor. :-)

Deanna@MilesToRun said...

Great job on your half! I can't believe you had the energy to sprint mile 13. You inspire me. I'm going to make that my goal for my next half. Great finishing time as well!!

Sorry you're sick, but glad you got it checked out before it got worse. Hope you feel better soon.

Simply Fit Mama said...

Thanks Mir!

Thank you, Deanna!

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